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E:   admin@waylandlegal.com.au

 

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Incident investigations

 

 

Submit an investigation for review

In a more significant example, the Pike River Royal Commission into the deaths of 29 workers in an underground coal mine explosion was very critical of the incident investigations at the mine. The Royal Commission concluded incidents were never properly investigated.

 

You can see how the investigations were criticised under cross examination in the following transcript.

Similar criticisms were also made of incident investigations at BP, following the 205 BP Texas City Refinery explosion.

We recognise reviewing workplace investigations can be time consuming and expensive, but poor quality investigations are a significant risk to your business.

To help employers, we offer a simple, online resource to review workplace investigations. Simply upload an investigation you would like to have reviewed, and for as little as $350, you will receive a detailed report about the investigation, including any legal compliance issues which need to be addressed.

Follow the links on the left of the page to find out more, or upload a document.

Incident investigations are critical to effective workplace management, however, recent cases and inquiries demonstrate how poor quality incident investigations can be used against organisations.

In Harris v Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd, information about incidents was criticised by the Court as "very brief and imprecise" and "so imprecise to be of little utility".

 

Policies & procedures

 

 

Submit a policy or procedure for review

Policies and procedures are ubiquitous in workplace management systems. Nearly all formal workplace management systems - employment and safety - are built on documented processes, and documentation is often critical to demonstrating how organisations manage their obligations for employment and safety.

At the same time, however, workplace policies and procedures can create significant legal risk. Non-compliance with workplace policies and procedures will compromise an employer's position in proceedings, like unfair dismissals. This non-compliance is also cited against employers after workplace accidents,  as evidence they failed to "enforce their own systems".

You can see an example of this type of case in the following video, BHP V Capon [2014] WASC 267.

A key issue with workplace policies and procedures is their complexity, and the difficulty many workers have applying them. In September 2015, the Queensland coroner noted:

"The identification, elimination or minimisation of risks through risk management processes may lead to the production of a suite of documentation that will pass audit requirements.  However, the evidence at this inquest suggests that workers in the field may find such documents hard to comprehend and of limited relevance to their daily activities."

You can review a copy of this case at the following link, Inquest into the death of Cameron Brandt Cole.

 

We recognise developing workplace policies and procedures can be time consuming and expensive. At the same time, you need to be sure your documents are consistent with your legal obligations.

To help employers, we offer a simple, online resource to review workplace policies and procedures. Simply upload a document you would like to have reviewed, and for as little as $350, you will receive a detailed report about the document, including any legal compliance issues which need to be addressed.

Follow the links on the left of the page to find out more, or upload a document.